December 13, 2013 - United States Attorney for the Western District of New York, William J. Hochul, Jr., visited BuffSci as a guest of the Leadership Speaker Series. Mr. Hochul met with a group of 30 students to discuss apples. Yes, apples.
Apples were the colorful symbol that Mr. Hochul used to illustrate how issues (such as ownership and rights to property) come before a court for prosecution. He spoke with students about his job as a U.S. Attorney and how it differs from a regular lawyer. Appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Hochul explained that as the U.S. Attorney, he has license to prosecute federal cases anywhere in the United Country... and abroad. Mr. Hochul kept the students amused as he often referenced the apple as the property in question for a hypothetical case, taught them a lot about the history of our modern court system and laws.
Students enjoyed their time with Mr. Hochul. He told them that they "represent some of the best and brightest in Buffalo" and encouraged them to continue to stay on track with their education. Mr. Hochul, a native of Buffalo's East Side neighborhoods, told students, "Just because you may not have grown up in a rich house, it doesn't mean you can't make it." He encouraged students with these final words: "...You need dedication and if you can't do something, work on your skills on your own. If you want to make it... the biggest thing is you have to have heart."
Reflections from students after the session:
"I enjoyed [Mr. Hochul] because he was informational and interesting." ~Najaree, 9th Grade
"I enjoyed [Mr. Hochul] because he was energizing and informative!" ~Anonymous, 12th Grade
"I enjoyed it. It seems like [Mr. Hochul] really liked talking to us." ~Seana, 12th Grade
"I enjoyed [Mr. Hochul] because the way he presented [his talk to students] was like being in a courtroom with him." ~Janae, 12th Grade